In my seven years at the helm of this magazine I have learned one thing about nail technicians: They want the truth about the products they use and they can tell when they're getting it. Knowing that, it usually makes deciding which articles to run easier, but this month our editorial team faced a dilemma about how to present an article on ethyl methacrylate (known as EMA and not to be confused with its bad-seed cousin MMA).

NIOSH conducted a study on working with EMA and published its findings in a report recently obtained by NAILS. The report covered familiar territory, namely that nail technicians must limit their own exposure to the chemical and be cautious about preventing skin contact. Although EMA is considered safe when used by trained professionals and according to manufacturers’ instructions, the chemical had come under scrutiny a few years ago and was reviewed by the FDA’s Cosmetic Ingredient Review board. I am concerned that because the industry is facing down MMA right now nail technicians and others might get the two chemicals confused and become unnecessarily fearful of working with any acrylic product.

The article, which begins on page 50, is reassuring in the kinds of things nail technicians can do to work safely with EMA (and with other chemicals). Although we’ve covered a lot of this before, it bears repeating. We believe that it is our obligation to the nail industry to provide all the information that is known about nail chemicals whenever new information is available. We analyze the information, have it reviewed by experts in the salon industry, and present the whole thing to our readers in a balanced format. Then we let our readers think for themselves.


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